Russia appoints new ambassador to Turkey after predecessor’s assassination
ANKARARussia on May 18 appointed Aleksey Yerhov as its new ambassador to Ankara, five months after the assassination of former Envoy Andrey Karlov.
The appointment comes ahead of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to the country for a meeting of heads of states of Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) countries in Istanbul on May 22.
Aleksey Yerhov is a former consul general in Istanbul.
Karlov was shot dead by police officer Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş on Dec. 19, 2016, as he was delivering a speech at an art exhibition in Ankara. Altıntaş was later gunned down following an exchange of fire with security personnel at the scene.
Altıntaş was involved in an investigation into the Gülenists in 2015. He participated in Gülenist meetings in İzmir, according to a report dated Aug. 13, 2015.
Karlov’s assassination coincided with a tumultuous period for relations between Turkey and Russia.
Ties between the two countries were already strained by the war in Syria when in late 2015 Turkey shot down a Russian Su-24 on the Turkey-Syria border.
The appointment comes after a recent meeting between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
The normalization of relations between Russia and Turkey is expected to gain new momentum after his appointment.